Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Living room before & after pictures

Hi friends, it's time for some updates! We've been consumed with renovating our apartment. Since mid-January we've had HelpX guests assisting us. Our last guest leaves this afternoon...I'm sad to see him go, but we're also excited to have our apartment back to ourselves.

Ready for some before, during, & after photos of our living room?

The "before" photos from the online listing

What it actually looked like when Eric was househunting

This is the living room, where our couch now sits. One of the students used it as a bedroom

looking towards the front door

clutter everywhere

dining room
The bottom part of the wall was beige, and the trim was a glossy yellow-cream. Note: beige and yellow do not mix well. We painted everything white: ceilings (matte), trim (satin), and walls (eggshell).

Taking out the dividing wall between the living & dining rooms

Dio loved helping chisel out the plaster. We ran phone & ethernet cables from our bedroom over to the wall between the windows.

The walls were slabs of poured clay with random pieces of wood embedded inside, covered with a thick layer of plaster. Dust was EVERYWHERE

Phone/ethernet cables embedded in the ceiling beam and wall. Our HelpX helper is putting on the first layer of plaster.
Patching up the floor turned into a complicated project. When we removed the wood, it jacked up a section of the floor (terrazzo tiles on top of old tomettes, and underneath that a layer of earth, all on top of wooden beams. We had to break up the floor with a hammer and pound as much back down as we could. The rest we chiseled out. Then we poured several layers of concrete to bring the floor back up to level. Next came a coat of self-leveling compound.

We had to save and reuse the flooring, so Eric and one of our helpers spent hours scraping glue & cement off the back of the planks.

All done! No more wall!

I sewed the curtains for the two front windows. It's a fresh green jacquard with fluffy dandelion patterns. Fun and colorful, but not too loud. The curtains were over 3 meters long! I bought it at; it's called Ombelle.

The next picture shows the reading nook & living room from the entry hall. I convinced Eric to buy the daybed (140 Euros at a consignment store). It took some persuasion but he is sold. It's nice to have another place to read or take a nap.

I am in love with the cushion fabric. I had the hardest time tracking it down, because it kept selling out online before I could order it. It's called Orlando Tropical in some places and Panama Orlando in others. I finally bought it here.

The couch turns into a bed. We're "babysitting" a painting by our friend Jonathan Gent.

Below is The Mirror. We found it via The owner threw in the two side tables and all of the leatherbound books, plus the big mirror over the daybed, plus another mirror in the master bedroom.

I found the antique sconces at a secondhand shop for 15 Euros total. They were an ugly, tarnished brass so I painted them and the mirror with gilding paint (dorure liquide).

View of the door & entry hall

See the window over the kitchen? It looks into the master bedroom. We built a sleeping loft right under the window.

Now I can spy on my children from my bed!


  1. It's beautiful! Well done!!

  2. Looks great- much more open

  3. Wow, you have worked miracles--looks like a different home. Are you only staying a year? Did you buy the property?

  4. Nicely done! It's so airy and serene.

  5. What incredible improvements! And such an inspiration to share your hard work with us: thank you. My creative juices are flowing again to make my house a better home!


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